Marine News from the Great Lakes

GIFT IDEAS: Interesting Angling Accessories

Published: Monday, November 27, 2017
By: Dan Armitage, Buckeye Sportsman Radio,

Here are some items that have crossed my path that I think might be of special interest to Great Lakes anglers and could make great gifts to consider getting or giving this holiday season.

Rod Select 360

I saw these being sold at last winter’s Indianapolis sport show and have been experimenting with all the places these handy combination rod storage/carriers can be used aboard my two project boats this past season. Rod Select offers several different styles, but what they have in common are high-quality components and construction, and adaptability to a variety of applications aboard. I rigged the Rod Select 360 aboard my pontoon boat for spider rigging, keeping a half-dozen 12-foot rods handy, yet secure (no easy task for rods that long) in a vertical “quiver” that fit snugly into a traditional pedestal seat base on the deck. The same rack worked equally well aboard my center console boat, fitting into a pin-style seat mount. Between on-board uses, the 360 then serves as a convenient way to organize and carry your rods and reels back and forth to the boat and storing them in your vehicle, back at home, or in the hotel room when on the road. Learn more at


I do a lot of fishing off those boats by myself and am always on the lookout for accessories that help me be a more safe and efficient single-handed angler. I’ve lost many fish at boat-side when I had to juggle the landing net and the fishing rod, single-handing each in the process. After hearing about some nets and accessories that were designed for one-man fish-landing, I did some research and located the Robohandle. Designed, patented, and manufactured by an angler in Illinois who wanted to offer a netting-assist accessory for solitary fishermen, the Robohandle consists of a forearm ring and a pistol-grip type handle that combine to make handling a net with one arm a much easier process. The Robohandle easily attaches to the handle of any landing net via a couple of hose clamps and can be removed when sharing the deck with fishing buddies you trust to handle the netting duties. Visit to get the scoop on same.


On the safety side of single-handed fishing accessories, I have installed an Autotether wireless kill switch on my Great Lakes fishing boat and recommend it for any angler who fishes alone from a power boat. The peace of mind it provides me (and my wife) when I am out on the big water chasing Lake Erie walleyes is worth the (negligible) asking price alone, and the Autotether is so easy to install, with no tools or wiring required. I berated myself afterward for how long I put off tackling what I assumed would be a painstaking task. The host receiver mounts near the helm with double-sided adhesive strips and connects to the ignition’s existing kill switch; the sensor you simply clip to your clothing. After being armed with the press of a button, if the person wearing the sensor goes overboard, the signal between the sensor and the receiver is interrupted and the receiver automatically activates the ignition’s emergency kill switch to stop the engine. Learn more about this potential lifesaver for solo anglers and boaters at

Frabill SideStep Ice Shanty

Any ice angler would appreciate receiving a state-of-the-art shanty this winter, and Frabill’s brand new Bro Series SideStep Shelter is perfect for two frigid-digit fishermen — or a lone angler who likes to stretch his legs out a bit. The new 2255 is a side-entry model with full-quilted insulation, two swivel boat-style seats, and a cool-looking arctic camo exterior measuring 84 inches long by 58.5 inches wide and 64 inches tall, yet weighs just 90 pounds. Find out more about the new SideStep at

Fish Strike Fish Alarm

For ice fishing or open water boat or bank use, the Fish Strike Fish Alarm will alert the most distant – or inattentive – angler to activity on his line with both visual and audible alerts which will not go unnoticed. The alarm is waterproof, can be mounted to any rod holder, and is fully adjustable for sensitivity. When a fish triggers the system, a 100-dB alarm and a flashing LED light will let everyone in the vicinity know that you’ve got a bite. Find out more at

BUFF Headware

What fisherman can’t use another cap? There’s a new line of cool-weather fishing headwear offered by the same folks who make the distinctive buffs featured in the popular “Survivor” television reality show. I’ve messed about with them during steelhead season and they work. The assortment offered by BUFF includes caps, balaclavas, and what they call “multifunctional” headwear all made of ThermoNet, a fabric that includes PrimaLoft yarn to create hydrophobic, wicking fibers that move moisture away from the skin while regulating heat inside. The material keeps you warm, comfortable, and dry, even in damp winter fishing conditions – all while utilizing 70 percent recycled content. Learn more about the new ThermoNet offerings, as well as a collection of Merino wool headgear for hunters and anglers that I have yet to try first-head, at


tags: Fishing

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